I remember when I was nine or ten my Mother asking “What will you be doing this beautiful, sunny day?” My answer, “I have to make things” – a statement reflecting my actual physical need to create. Entire paper doll families; a wood dollhouse furnished with my clay, wood, cardboard and paper furniture; paper mache puppets, clay tea sets, drawings, paintings, or just seated at my brother’s drawing board, examining his air brush, his pens and templates, pretending to be the industrial designer that he was.
Later, printmaking … etchings, aquatints, lithographs, screenprints and the amazing freedom of the monoprint! These are the pieces of my personal world. The physical intensity that begins the process. The delight of watching it take hold, beginning to tell its story. The joy of its birth with the last pass through the press, or the last pull of the squeegee … then slowly wafting on the drying line or airing on the rack.
If all goes well, a great sense of accomplishment. If not, there’s tomorrow. A private life of ‘making things.’
Carolyn Pomponio was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, earned her undergraduate degrees at George Washington University in English Literature and Art History, and at George Mason University with a BIS in Graphic Arts and Design. Additionally, she studied painting and printmaking at the Corcoran School of Art, etching/aquatint with John Carr at Montgomery College, MD, screen-printing with John Oswald at Northern Virginia Community College, stone lithography with Ann Zahn, screenprint/monotypes with John Beckley at Carnegie Mellon University and Pepe Coronado and Elizabeth Dove at Pyramid Atlantic, Silver Spring, MD. She studied photography with Mary Hammond at George Mason University, computer graphics and design at the National Planning Data Corporation, Ithaca, NY, and Adobe Photoshop and computer graphics at the Corcoran School of Art. In addition, Ms. Pomponio has studied screen printing on clay with Jackie Kierans; Book Arts/How to Bind Five Eggs with Kumi Korf, non-etch intaglio with Chayo de Chevez, all at Lee Arts Center, Arlington, VA.
Her teaching career has included classes, seminars and workshops on reductive monotypes, gallery creation and management, screen printing techniques, etching and aquatint – at the Lee Arts Center, Arlington, VA; Southern Graphics Council Conference, Washington, DC; The Washington Print Club; and classes for the general public and the docents of the National Gallery of Art and The Smithsonian Institution’s Resident Associates Program.
Ms. Pomponio founded the Washington Printmakers Gallery in 1985, a collaborative for the exhibit and sale of original prints, photographs, digital art and book arts. She was the gallery’s first president and is currently a board member. In 2005 she founded the Washington Print Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, whose mission focuses on the funding, education and promotion of original prints, photographs, book arts and the digital arts.
Her exhibits include the Henry L. Stimson Research Center, Friendship Heights Gallery, Marymount University, Lee Arts Center, Dumbarton Oaks and Washington Printmakers Gallery, and has participated in group exhibitions in Shanghai, China; Moscow, Russia; Brasilio, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina; World Print Council, San Francisco, CA; Johannesberg, South Africa; and DFI International, Washington, DC.
Ms. Pomponio’s are in private and public collections including the Kulturi Foundation, Moscow; U.S. Embassies in Gabarone, Botswana; Muscat, Oman; Jakarta, Indonesia; the Library of Congress; the National Museum of Women in the Arts; The Smithsonian Institution; the National Institute of Health; Georgetown University; George Mason University; Stimson Research Center; Sheppard Pratt Hospital; Squire Patton Boggs LLP; Maryland Arts & Humanities Council; and the Windfield Corporation, among others.
Ms. Pomponio lives and prints in Warrenton, Virginia. Her work can be seen at the Washington Printmakers Gallery in Georgetown, Washington, DC and at www.washingtonprintmakers.com.
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